Online advertisement has grown enormously to become a billion dollar industry today, forming 25% of total media expenditure worldwide. In 2014, the worldwide digital ad spending hit $137.53 billion. Online advertising can be understood, in its basic concept, through the practices of Search Engine Marketing or Pay-Per-Click Marketing, since all of these refer to “purchased or rented traffic through online ads”(emarketer.com).
Online Advertising is a strong tool in the arsenal for boosting the presence of your business online and reaching out to the target audience. It is efficient because it helps you define the right audience, target them and uses the web to deliver marketing messages to those potential customers and clients. It is also convenient to monitor your success with online advertising.
For a beginner, stepping into the domain of online advertising could pose various challenges like the daunting internet jargon, measuring website traffic and regulating Cost-per-click. But this need not be overwhelming and can be grasped by taking small steps towards familiarizing yourself with the many elements of the game. This is beside the benefits that your business will get and the new opportunities it will open up for you. Let’s get an overview, with this article, of how a beginner could start off with advertising online.
What content, text or message is it that you want to send across to your target audience? Whether it is a newly launched product or service, a new deal or simply an information bit to raise visibility for your brand. You need to zone down on what you want to express. There are many platforms that you’ll find where you can advertise online like social media pages, rich media ads and banner ads.
Rich Media is a digital advertising term for an ad which involves features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content, in the form of call-to-action features, click buttons etc.
Banner Ads include the form of online advertising where the ad is embedded into a separate web page. It attracts traffic by linking the ad to the website of the advertiser.
Time And Duration
It is crucial to decide at what time and for how long the advertisement is appearing. The cost depends upon the platform and duration of your ad, and it is not always easy to allocate a budget for the same. When starting out as a new advertiser, it is wiser to invest a small amount first. Monitor how the ad works and optimize your budget accordingly. The three things to keep in mind while forming a budget are:
- Price of the ad
- Labor invested in creating it
- Software used for tracking
There are many parameters under which you can judge the success of your ad, depending upon what your initial goal was. Whether it was page visits, clicks, sign-ups or a general increase in web traffic, you can keep track of it all. Of the many software available for the job, you’ll find below the example of Google Analytics, that helps log the ROI (Return on Investment) for your ads in this fashion. With the tools provided, you can figure out how many views and clicks your ad gets per week, month or year. Thereafter, you use a series of ads to test and compare which performs the best, that is, which ads brings the most traffic back to your web page.
With stats recorded in one place, you can assess the bulk of your web traffic. If you have created a sign-up or subscription feature, you can use the registered user data for email offers and newsletters. Evaluate the data for the people who have interacted with media on your page, whether it is downloading content, streaming video, etc. Google AdWords provides PPC ads (Pay-Per-Click) that provides data on the number of clicks (people who clicked the ad to visit your page) as well as the conversion rate (rate of people who performed the desired activity eg. Signing up, buying a product or service, after landing on the advertiser’s page.)
Points to Remember
- Record a baseline figure for existing traffic, sales, etc. against which you’ll measure any future success brought about by a specific ad. Compare new campaign statistics against the data of existing user visits and clicks.
- Study your audience and their online habits, the time that they are most likely to see the ad, as well as the content that they would like to engage with.
- Use Google Analytics for free campaign tracking for a start and use advertising programs like AdWords to assess traffic and conversion.
- Have patience, as building a successful ad campaign takes research and time but it is worth the effort when you see your web traffic increasing.
All in all, it’s never too late to start. Online advertising gives more power to you to study and control how well you perform on the market in exact numbers and stats. This gives you the advantage of making the right decisions and increasing your visibility or sales or clicks in a systematic way.